Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87; her family made the announcement that she died after suffering a stroke earlier this morning and promised to make a "further statement" later today.
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning," her spokesman, Lord Bell, told the press in an official statement.
Thatcher served as Prime Minister for 11 years before leaving office and taking the title Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. She remained rather reclusive in her later years, suffering from short-term memory loss after a stroke in 2002. Her husband, Denis, preceded her in death in 2003. more >>
Pope Francis has stated that the Church should "act decisively" with regards to the issue of sexual abuse within the Church, insisting those found guilty should be punished to ensure the safety of children.
Bishop Gerhard Mueller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith that oversees the investigation related to clerical sex abuse cases, held a meeting with Pope Francis' and was told to continue to root out abusive behavior within the Church.
"Act decisively as far as cases of sexual abuse are concerned, promoting, above all, measures to protect minors, help for those who have suffered such violence in the past (and) the necessary procedures against those who are guilty," read a Vatican statement revealing the nature of the Pope's Message to Bishop Mueller. more >>
Pope Francis has already established himself as a pontiff not afraid to break from tradition, and many are saying he is giving women unprecedented recognition within the church.
"Women play a primary, fundamental role in the Bible," the pope told thousands of pilgrims at an audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, Reuters reported. "The evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria."
"The disciples had a harder time believing but not the women," the Roman Catholic Church leader reminded the people, referring to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "Women in the Church have had and have a special role in opening the doors to the Lord, in following him, in communicating his message." more >>
The Russian military has introduced a high-tech air-dropped church along with a unit of priests trained in parachuting and vehicle assembly to serve the army and navy's Orthodox Christian soldiers in the field. The European country claims its airborne-friendly and ready-to-assemble house of worship is the first the world has ever seen, although similar structures have long been in existence.
RIA Novisit, Russian's official news and information agency, shared photos over the weekend on its Facebook page of paratroopers holding exercises near Ryazan, about 124 miles from Moscow. The news agency noted that among the "ordinary paratroopers" were paratrooper priests and their "mobile cathedral."
The paratrooper chaplains are among a preliminary group of about a dozen Russian Orthodox Church priests assigned to the country's Baltic Fleet in an effort to restore full-service chaplaincy to the country's armed forces, according to RIA Novisit. Russia is reportedly planning to assign 400 military chaplains to army and naval units. more >>
Pope Francis has made comments on the Shroud of Turin, the much-discussed and analyzed burial cloth that some believe shows the face of Jesus Christ, saying that it "speaks to the heart," though he stopped short of declaring the piece an official relic.
"This image, impressed upon the cloth, speaks to our heart," the Roman Catholic Church leader said in an Italian TV Easter Saturday special.
"This disfigured face resembles all those faces of men and women marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which afflict the weakest … And yet, at the same time, the face in the shroud conveys a great peace; this tortured body expresses a sovereign majesty," he added. more >>
Evangelical leader Edith Schaeffer, who co-founded L'Abri, a Christian ministry, with her husband, prolific evangelical author Francis Schaeffer, passed away quietly in her sleep early Saturday.
L'Abri was founded in Switzerland in 1955 as a Christian retreat center where people of any faith, or no faith, could come to learn and discuss theological and philosophical issues. During the 1960s, it became popular among some of the counter-cultural, or "hippie," movements of the time.
"What a lovely person Edith is – and how thankful we are that she has gone at last to her eternal rest. One wonders, too, with her life-long and quite proper excitement about the 'great tapestry of God' could she have chosen a more fitting day than Easter Saturday to round off her own amazing contribution to that sublime fabric!" son-in law Ranald Macaulay wrote on the L'Abri website. more >>